As the Indian Space Research Organisation created a new world record by launching 104 satellites through a single rocket on Wednesday morning, Twitter users could hardly conceal their pride at the latest achievement of ISRO scientists. India is now the first country to successfully launch the most number of satellites on a single rocket, which took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
Previously, Russia held the record for the most satellites ever launched, when a rocket carried 37 satellites in 2014.
This achievement set off a flurry of tweets by social media users professing national pride on Wednesday. The hashtag #IsroMadeHistory flooded the internet with tweets and pictures of the rocket launch that took place at 9:28 am.
The rocket carried a total weight of 1,378 kg. On its 39th flight, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) carried a large main satellite that weighed 714 kg for earth observation. This was accompanied by 103 smaller satellites that together weighed 664 kg.
Of these, 88 satellites belong to one company, which will map the whole surface of the planet in extremely high resolution.
These nano satellites will be launched into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit, in which the satellite’s path takes it around the same part of the earth at the same local time every day, like the sun. This kind of an orbit is supposed to make data collection and communication by satellites much easier.
Twitter users remembered with great nostalgia about the time when a bullock cart was used to launch a rocket. The popular handle @IndiaHistorypic posted a series of old pictures highlighting India’s progress in the field of space technology.
According to the ISRO website, of the various nano satellites, 96 are from the US, and one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates. Two are from India. Naturally, this was a moment of pride for Indian scientists, since an Indian organisation was carrying out a mission that involved launching satellites from across the world.
There were also plenty of references to Indian cricket.
But even this scientific achievement was not enough to sideline the intense political churning in Tamil Nadu. Even in their congratulatory tweets, the battle within the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam did not fail to make an appearance.